It turns out that there’s a reason everyone recommends building a crosscut sled for your table saw: they really are very nice. I spent the past several days making a few, and it made building my drawer boxes a breeze.
“A few” table saw sleds? Yes. I wanted a full-width sled mostly to fully support some of the larger pieces I would be working with. It also made for a good solution to the problem I have with my table saw: the inset for the throat plate is so shallow that it’s difficult to make a zero-clearance insert for it. I also made two half-table sleds! One for the left side, and the other for the right. The left sled allowed me to use my dado stack without ruining the zero-clearance kerf of my full-width sled. The right-side sled I haven’t used yet, but I imagine it being the small-piece tool after I’m eventually forced to use the left side with the blade leaned over in an acute miter.
Pictured above is the extension I made to cut box joints using the left-side sled. This is another YouTube gem that I now understand why people love. Once tuned, it cuts very even, easy box joints. A testament to this fact is the first picture above, of my top drawer. If you look closely, you’ll notice the corner in the front is labeled C2 on one edge, and C1 on the other. I assembled the side of one drawer with the back of another without noticing – it’s a perfect fit.
I also have to praise the five-cut method. I used it to square my fences, and didn’t appreciate how good it really was until it was proved to me how much more accurate my cuts were that the factory cuts on the ends of these pre-finished baltic ply drawer panels. The box corners that I cut fit like a glove, but the ones where I trusted the factory were off just enough to be annoyingly tight.
In short: sometimes the internet is right. Who knew?